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IN PHOTOS: After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

January 09, 2014 16:37 IST

IN PHOTOS: After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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The United States wakes up to a warmer morning with the polar vortex on its way out. 

After record low temperatures that have resulted in 21 deaths across the United States, the deep freeze is loosening its icy grip.

Temperatures are finally expected to start rising on Thursday, bringing a huge relief to millions of Americans who have battled the cold with power cuts and roadblocks.

The US National Weather Service predicted "a much-anticipated warm up" for much of the eastern.

The US Midwest - which experienced - 37 degrees Celsius in recent days -- warmed slightly, but still faced temperatures 15 to 25 degrees below average.

New York City topped - 5 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, after shattering a 118-year-old low temperature record with - 15 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

In Minnesota, Americans woke up to warmer weather. It was 30 degrees below zero with wind chill. That was 20 degrees higher than 24 hours earlier, reports CNN.

By the weekend, the US will see higher than the average Janaury temperatures, say weather forecasters.

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Image: Ice from the breath of Gail Davis forms around her face as she exercises by walking outside in Minneapolis
Photographs: Eric Miller/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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The US side of the Niagara Falls is pictured in Ontario.

The frigid air and "polar vortex" that affected about 240 million people in the US and southern Canada will depart during the second half of this week, and a far-reaching January thaw will begin, according to AccuWeather.com.

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Photographs: Aaron Harris/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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A student enters Washburn High School as the school sign indicates a sub-zero temperature in Minneapolis.

A few schools, which were shut due to the polar freeze, re-opened as the mecury began to rise.

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Photographs: Aaron Harris/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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The Chicago skyline is framed by icicles in Chicago, Illinois.

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Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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Canadian Geese stand on the frozen waters of the Washington Channel.

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Photographs: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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City workers use a variety of plows to remove snow from sidewalks in south Minneapolis.

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Photographs: Eric Miller/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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Icicles form on a car in front of a building where the New York Fire Department was fighting a fire in low temperatures caused by the 'polar vortex' in New York.

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Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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After the big freeze, US heads for the big thaw

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Water mist blows over the East River in New York.

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Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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